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Howard Jordan Jr.

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More Reasons to Leave New York: Taxi TV, Ghosts and Your Autograph

Posted: 06/20/2012 6:39 pm

114. Taxi TV.

When you're out, about, and fully engaged in your New York City hustle, there's one particular experience capable of granting you a little space all your own to catch your breath and use exactly as you see fit: Cab rides.

So, if you want to enjoy a few quiet moments, make some calls, people watch, daydream, or converse with a particularly interesting cabbie, you should be able to do just that without interference, or interruption. However, Taxi TV's incessant and invasive clips from Jimmy Kimmel, the Today Show's intolerable 4th hour, Jay Leno, and countless other programs you'd never watch prevent that from happening.

If there is such a thing as "too much" in New York City, Taxi TV is it. It's not helpful or informative. That's what Pat Kiernan and NY1 are for. And more often than not, it fails to entertain.

In fact, it is such a nuisance that the moment it makes its first sound, your index and middle fingers join together to attack the off-button with such rapid and aggressive taps you actually turn it off and on a number of times before shuts down for good. And why is it so hard to turn off, anyway?

A cab ride is about comfort and convenience and Taxi TV shamelessly strips you of both. It violates your happy place with content that can only been described as maddening and completely unnecessary.

It's enough to make you scream expletives at the screen. So, that's exactly what you do.

115. The Ghosts of New York Past.

As a New Yorker, you've surely broken hearts and had your heart broken. You've left jobs and been asked to leave. You've even received opportunities you didn't deserve and missed out on opportunities you likely did. But what's done is done.

The best you can hope for now is that you've learned your lessons well. New York can, and likely will, beat you up and break you down in countless ways. That's what it's supposed to do. It's quite good at it and doesn't need your assistance. It's your job to keep getting up, keep getting stronger, and keep getting better to prepare yourself for greatness.

To do that, you have to let go of the past. But New York City doesn't make it easy to get over anything, or anyone. You can't walk down the street, go out to dinner, check out a show, or enjoy a day in the park without crossing paths with someone, or something that conjures up memories of just how bad you screwed up a situation, or got screwed over because of one.

As a New Yorker, you become exceedingly familiar with how it feels to make mistakes, do wrong, and fall woefully short of perfection. There's no escaping it. So, in order to move on, you must do just that, move on.

Saying is always easier than doing. But, this is New York City. Nothing comes without struggle. And truth be told, true New Yorkers prefer a little pain with their pleasure anyway. They find poetry, inspiration, and redemption in overcoming the ghosts of the past, to own the present, and dominate the future.

If you don't, perhaps you're not a real New Yorker, after all.

116. You don't practice signing your autograph.

If you sincerely believe you are destined for the big time, you should be practicing your signature in anticipation of the day when everyone will recognize what you already know to be true: You're kind of a big deal. (Thank you, Ron Burgundy.)

Every bar tab, personal check, lease, and renewed license is an opportunity to shine. Every capital letter is a chance to let the world know you're not messing around and you've adopted Kanye West's famously self-reverential lyric, "My presence is a present" as your own.

When people see your autograph they should feel an inexplicable and unstoppable urge to ask, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" Because if things go the way you're planning, your answer to that question will soon be yes.

And when they ask you to sign a copy of your book, a program from your latest exhibition, or anything else within arm's reach so they can prove to friends, family and collectors they actually met you, it'll be worth their while, and yours.

Every one in New York City is on the verge of becoming the next big thing. So, when the powers-that-be present you with the contract that will change your life, you better be prepared to sign your name with the kind of flair and that screams, "About damned time!"

 
 
 

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